(COLUMBUS, Ohio) —Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today released the 2018 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report, in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, which occurs annually on May 25.
“I urge all Ohioans to take precautions to protect our state’s children, to act quickly to aid local law enforcement when someone goes missing, and to heed the children around to help ensure that they are cared for and safe,” said Attorney General Yost.
A full copy of the report can be found here.
The clearinghouse documented 25,619 people missing in 2018. Of those, 19,879 were reports of missing children – 10,643 female and 9,236 male. Authorities reported that 98.1% – a total of 19,510 children – were recovered safely by year’s end. Open source data revealed that two children reported missing were found dead in 2018. There were 19 attempted child abductions in 2018, involving 14 girls and five boys. Of incidents in which the suspect’s method of abduction is known, 37% involved suspects driving vehicles and 61% occurred between the hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Just fewer than half of the incidents (48%) happened while the children were walking to or from school.
In 2018, Ohio law enforcement issued 10 Amber Alerts through the Ohio Amber Alert Plan related to the disappearance of 19 children. All of the children were recovered safely.
The Ohio Missing Persons Unit is housed within the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which operates the Missing Children Clearinghouse. As a part of BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Missing Persons Unit coordinates resources, facilitates rapid responses to missing person cases and provides immediate access to important investigative tools. In addition to focusing on missing children, the Missing Persons Unit plays an integral role in cases and issues involved missing adults, human trafficking and unidentified human remains.
The Missing Persons Unit has a 24-hour toll-free hotline (800-325-5604) to field calls from law enforcement, parents and community members. A database of Ohio Missing Persons is available on the attorney general’s website.
Attorney General Yost announced the winner of this year’s National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest as a part of the Attorney General’s Two Days in May Conference on Victim Assistance this week. Each year, fifth graders across the state are eligible to submit to the Attorney General’s Office a poster that raises awareness about child safety. This year’s winner is Jeffery Samuel Jr., a fifth grader at the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. His winning poster depicts a house with the caption, “Bringing our missing children home,” representing a safe house for all children.